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Old 03-13-2018, 10:36 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
1995 30' Excella
Harper Woods , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 217
Safe to use propane torpedo heater during repairs?

Hello, I'm working on replacing the floor of a 30' Excella, but haven't gotten around to diagnosing and repairing the furnace. The roof heat pump doesn't have enough gain to warm the trailer much. I'm wondering if it's safe to use a forced air 30k BTU torpedo propane heater. The heater does not get hot to the touch - all the hot air comes out the front (and a lot of it!). The flames are bright blue (such as the cooktop) with no yellow tips.

The back room is empty, and so I blocked off the trunk hatch with cardboard and cut out a hole for the heater to draw air from the outside. I opened the window beside the door to let air flow through the trailer. I placed the torpedo heater and fired it up, and heated the trailer from 30F to 65F in less than 1/2 hour.

I have a carbon monoxide detector that I think may be the fritz, so I'm wondering if the heater is safe to use. I guess the wise move would be to go buy a new CO detector, but has anybody used these heaters.

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Old 03-13-2018, 11:09 AM   #2
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I have a 55,000 BTU salamander heater I use for certain projects when the weather gets cold. It puts out a ton of heat (2.5 tons actually ) but it is terribly loud. They are intended for outdoor, or well ventilated space applications (unless there is newer technology that I am not aware of).

If my intent was to use this during renovation and my work area is well ventilated, I wouldn't hesitate to use it. The issue with mine is that it is too much heater for such a small area, even with all windows and the door open I'd roast if I had mine in an RV. I usually place mine outside the work area and let the heat blow in, such as outside the garage with the garage door open, or outside the RV with the windows open. This heats my work area, moves the noise outside, and lets me work without the worry of having to move the heater.

As fo the carbon monoxide detector, I imagine the heater will set it off inside an RV.

By all means, never sleep near one of these while in use.


"You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Old 03-15-2018, 08:36 AM   #3
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1972 25' Tradewind
1976 31' Excella 500
Denver , Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 149
Check out the "Big Buddy." I purchased mine at Lowe's (different color than the one available elsewhere) for around $140. It runs on 2 camping stove tanks, or you can plumb it to a hose and run it off larger tanks. Its made for enclosed spaces, and its almost silent.

Edit: I've got a 25 ft., and it raised the temp about the same as what you mention in your post, though I do already have mine insulated.
25' 1972 Airstream Trade Wind Land Yacht
2006 Jeep Liberty CRD (diesel)
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